What Should I Do When a Printer is Not Working?

There is nothing more aggravating than printer problems in the middle of a huge print job. There are many reasons why a printer may stop working or the quality of the prints is not up to par. The purpose of this post is to explore what you should do when your printer is not working.

5 Reasons Why Your Printer is Not Working Properly

  1. Out of paper. If you are in the middle of a print job and the printer stops printing the first thing you should do is check the display screen. The display screen will tell you if the paper needs to be refilled.
  2. Ink is low or empty. Again, the display screen on the printer or your computer will notify you when the ink is low or empty. If this is the problem, then simply replace the empty ink cartridge with a new one.
  3. Error message on display screen. If there is an error message on the display screen, check your printer manual for troubleshooting issues or Google it. For example, if you have an HP_____ printer, Google the name of your printer “HP___error message”. There are different ways to resolve an error message. Anything from cleaning the printhead of the ink cartridge to cleaning the printhead of your printer, which is usually automatically done, however, it may be done manually through the “Settings” of your printer menu.
  4. Paper jam. Even a small piece of paper or dust ball can cause your printer to stop working properly. The display screen will indicate “Paper jam” if that is the case. Fixing a paper jam may be as simple as removing the paper tray and taking out any papers that are stuck or you may have to search and dig out paper caught on the roller.
  5. Wi-Fi connectivity issue. Some printers have faulty Wi-Fi connectivity issues and function better if a USB cable is used rather than the wireless connection.


Besides Google, your printer manual, Microsoft also has a troubleshooting feature built into its software. It may pop up automatically when your printer is not functioning properly. Or you may have to uninstall your printer and reinstall it. To find a printer in Windows 10, click on start symbol, scroll down to “Windows System”. Then click on “Control Panel” and scroll down to “Devices and Printers”. At the top, you can see options to remove, add or see the properties of any printers connected to your computer.

Your printer may need a driver updated. This will require you to go to your printer’s brand website and search driver updates for your printer. You can also use the printer brand’s website search button to troubleshoot any issues you are experiencing.

When your printer is not working, it is a source of frustration. Equipped with these ideas, you will be able to resolve any printing issues you may encounter in the future.

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